AT&T and Georgia 4-H Held Seniors Technology Program in Toccoa

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, May 21st, 2018

As part of AT&T’s continuing efforts to boost internet adoption, AT&T and Georgia 4-H held a technology class, teaching seniors how to safely navigate the digital world. The new statewide program bridges the generations and helps enhance connections across Georgia.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center reveals that understanding the relevance of the internet and learning how to use the internet are the two biggest obstacles to adoption.
From 2014 to 2016 alone, AT&T invested more than $5 billion in our wireless and wireline networks in Georgia. As private industry continues to invest to close the limited, remaining connectivity gap in rural areas, a key focus of the new statewide technology initiative is on increasing internet adoption.

To help boost internet adoption rates, the technology program pairs student trainers from 4-H, which is part of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, with senior users and uses AT&T’s Digital You curriculum to share how to have a safe and secure online experience. The personal one-on-one training results in benefits to all participants. Seniors enjoy an increased understanding of technology. And, student trainers sharpen invaluable leadership and interpersonal skills, helping prepare them to graduate career and college ready.
“With support from AT&T and Georgia 4-H, more of Georgia’s seniors are being enabled with important digital tools that assist in monitoring and managing nutritional and medical needs and increasing interaction with the ones they love,” said State Senator John Wilkinson. “A special thanks to AT&T and our Georgia 4-H students for working with our seniors, especially in Toccoa and other more rural parts of our state.”

“Our amazing Georgia 4-H students are working directly with seniors to illustrate the importance of digital literacy and safety for all generations,” said Arch Smith, director, Georgia 4-H. “Our Georgia 4-H students are working with seniors on an array of digital tasks – everything from learning how to video chat with friends and family, program security locks and codes to protect devices and personal data, post photos on Facebook and use calendar and reminder apps for things like doctor’s appointments. Georgia 4-H is proud to collaborate with AT&T and excited to launch this training initiative, enhancing support in our communities – urban and rural.”
The Barrow County Center, the Elbert County Senior Center, the Jasper County Senior Center, the Monroe County Senior Center and the Moultrie Senior Center hosted the #GACyberSeniors program in December 2017.
“Technology is no longer something seniors avoid, and #GACyberSeniors aims to help our seniors safely embrace the many benefits of digital literacy,” said Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce President Julie Paysen. “Improving the digital skills of everyone is key to Georgia’s future, and I applaud AT&T and our Georgia 4-H students as they work to ensure the digital transition is effortless for seniors across Georgia.”

“High-speed internet has quickly become a preferred way to access information and communicate,” stated Paul Chambers, AT&T Georgia regional director of external and legislative affairs. “We believe that enabling dedicated students to engage and inform Georgia seniors on the many benefits of digital literacy will help boost internet adoption rates and further connect our state.”